The Letter Writing Revolution

Revitalizing a Lost Art One Letter at a Time



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Is The Revolution?

One of these days, I'm gonna sit down and write a long letter
to all those good friends I've known."
~ Neil Young

And so it begins.......the first post of The Letter Writing Revolution. The desire to start a revolution like this has been floating around in my mind for sometime. Letter writing is quickly becoming (or has already become) a lost art and I intend on revitalizing it....one letter at a time.
My goal for this blog is to post all things about letter writing from the best places to buy unique stationary to writing a love letter to sharing excerpts from some of my old letters (love letters and otherwise). I have so many ideas for posts that I can't wait to get started.
Before you technical folk hit the road and leave my blog to write yet another email, please bear with me and just give this idea the benefit of the doubt. I expect that once you experience the thrill of opening your mail box and discovering a pastel coloured envelope that contains handwritten (I know! What a concept!) words composed specifically to you, YOU will be a part of the letter writing revolution in no time.
So, how does the letter writing revolution work? It's simple. All you need to do to get started is think of someone you would like to write to and rather than firing them off an email that gets read and deleted soon after, write a few sentences with a pen on paper, put it into an envelope, address it and then........here's the really cool part..........go to a post office and buy a stamp and drop it into the red Canada Post box (or any post box depending on where you live in the world).
No one to write to? That's okay. I have a solution for that. Write to me and I will write you back. I promise. You will receive a letter from me within a couple of weeks of sending yours and you can experience the thrill of getting mail the old fashioned way. If you have never written a letter before.........(seems impossible but I do know of some highly technical folk who laughed when I called this type of mail "snail mail" as to them, EMAIL was the new snail mail as even it is considered slow) please give this concept a chance.
It is not necessary to buy fancy stationary but it does make the letter writing far more interesting when you decorate plain white paper with drawings/stickers/ etc. or use coloured paper or coloured pens. The main goal for this blog is that everyone reading this, writes one letter to someone. It is important, though, that you explain in the letter that you are part of The Letter Writing Revolution and that not only are they expected to write you back, they are also expected to send one letter to someone they know explaining The Letter Writing Revolution.
I had told one friend about my blog idea and yesterday I received a letter in the mail from her. It was written on pink paper that had a funky designed border. In it she wrote:
"Here's a little note to celebrate The Letter Writing Revolution. You are so right that it is a lost art that needs some life again. I have to say that finding this pretty paper made me giddy with excitement at the thought of writing on it!"
You have nothing to write about? Take Neil Young's advice (see top of page) and write a note to someone you admire and just tell them why you admire them or how they inspire you. Did someone help you out during a difficult time in your life or after your baby was born? Have you ever told them so? If not, write them a note now telling them how they made a difference. Still nothing to write about? Send a letter to your children. They will be "over the moon" to get a letter in the mail. Trust me. It's like Christmas or a birthday! There is NOTHING like finding a sealed envelope with your name on it that isn't coming from Revenue Canada or the bank :-) and that contains words that were written for you and your eyes only. Tell your kids why you love them. The cool part is they will treasure that letter and in 50 years, they will have this piece of paper with YOUR handwriting on it. It becomes a piece of history. Ever written a spontaneous letter to your partner? And no, writing "Love insert name here" in a card doesn't count.
Okay, people, let the revolution begin. I want to hear all about your experiences! Send me your comments & your thoughts and tell me about the letters you write and the ones you receive. Again, if you're new to this and feel a bit odd writing to someone you know, write to me and tell me about yourself and I will write you back. I promise. Send letters to Julie Keon, P.O Box 533, Cobden, ON, K0J 1K0.
Happy Writing!!

13 comments:

  1. Woohoo! First Comment on this terrific idea of a blog!
    Congrats on getting this started and I absolutely LOVE where this is going to go.
    My 11-year-old daughter has a friend she writes letters, too, decorated with stickers, and drawings, and now my 8-year-old girl is doing the same with the daughter of my cousin who I used to write to! FUN!
    Can''t wait to see what happens next, Julie.
    GREAT idea.

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  2. A beautiful idea Julie! In Japan there is a tradition called 'e-tegami' or, 'picture-letter' which I taught in painting class today.. on a postcard, just the address of the recipient is written on the back with the stamp. The front has the image, connected to something linking the sender-creator and receiver. A few words, provocative and stimulating thought complete the work of writing. By taking the time alone to create a little work of art, a few words - we feel the deep intention and thoughtfulness of the sender. It is a beautiful tradition too! ~Rebecca

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  3. I used to be part of a group called the "Postcard Fairies"...we sent postcards to each other, storebought and homemade, and they went to all the corners of the world!
    I think receiving something hand written, in the mail, is a thrill no matter our age!
    Great idea for a blog!! A great place to do a review would be the Paperie in Ottawa...oh my...the stationary, paper...I could blow the bank account in that store!!
    Happy, blissful blogging!
    Maureen

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  4. Congrats on your first post and can't wait to read more. The letter to my children is a fabulous idea and I cannot wait to write them each a letter to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of our Summer together. Thanks Julie for starting this Revolution. I look forward to seeing where it all takes us.

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  5. Hey Julie - I am happy to see you are blogging about writing a fine mix of technology and memories. I just finished a family history album and it sure would have been great to include old letters from family members had I had any to include. I will be looking forward to your progress!

    Mindy

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  6. Great idea! This is exciting. I woke up early this morning thinking about a letter a guy wrote to me when I was 18. It was a work of art. I adored him because I adored this letter. I think I burned it 10 years after our break up. In fact, I was lying in bed regretting the burning of many love letters just because they weren't from my husband.
    Just received a traditional "airmail" envelope from England yesterday..my hubby's grandma and I are penpals...we send dried flowers from our gardens, photos, etc. monthly! I treasure her letters. I am SO into this!
    Oh, and the Papery is now "Paper-Papier" in Ottawa..I've unloaded LOTS of cash there!

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  7. Dear Julie

    Your blog came just in time for me. I used to write so many letters and postcards to pen pals, boarding school friends and many relatives. I do still write cards, especially at Christmas time.

    I have been thinking about writing a letter to our son, Ryan, for his marriage. It had escaped my mind through the busyness of wedding preparations and now you have brought it to light again for me. Thank you Julie, your timing always seems to be so appropo. I will take the time today to write him a letter, and will give it to him tomorrow on the eve of his wedding.
    Tears of happiness are slipping down my cheeks as I think of how much I love this young man and what I will write to him. Thank you, dear friend.
    love

    Susan

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  8. Great idea Julie... as a stamper/ card-maker I used to send more than I do.. recently I've fallen into the habit of email / FB. It's faster, but so much less personal...

    This video came to mind when I saw your blog... hand-written letters can be used to change the world! http://www.ted.com/talks/omar_ahmad_political_change_with_pen_and_paper.html

    Best,
    Jodie

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  9. What a wonderful idea this is Julie!! I am a long-time letter and postcard writer. Although the numbers have dwindled considerably in the last 10 years, I still have two friends who write personal, heart-felt and creative letters and cards to me. I feel so loved and blessed when I receive one of these gems in the mail.

    I received your first blog post while I was in BC and away from my 22 month-old daughter for the first time. You gave me a wonderful idea! I wrote her a postcard telling her how much I missed her and loved her and that I couldn't wait to hold her again. She was thrilled to receive it on her end. She loves to place mail in the Canada Post boxes for me, but she never receives her own personal mail. I think I'll start sending her letters from home - not just when I'm away - as a surprise for her. Thank you for this wonderful idea.

    Cheers,
    Michele

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  10. i will definitely be following. i found your site through your sister's blog and am so happy that i did. my oldest daughter is 7 and absolutely LOVES sending letters in the mail. she writes letters all the time but rarely does anyone return one to her. today she asked me why no one writes letters to send, but only emails us that they got her's. unfortunately i didn't have an answer other than people get busy and email is easy. but that's just not good enough. i know it's easier to sit down and dash off a couple lines and then click send. but it's just as easy to dash off a couple written lines, stick a stamp on it and put it in the mailbox, isn't it?

    thanks so much for starting this blog and reminding all of us about the lost art of letter writing...it's so important!

    much peace!

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  11. What a fantastic idea Julie. I love checking into the blog to catch up on all the wonders, joy, excitment, sadness, fear and gratitiude a written letter can bring to our lives. I plan to get back to the basics and begin some letter writing of my own- something I so enjoyed in my younger days. I will begin with one very special soul who in a very short time has changed my life immensely.
    Take care, Kelly

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  12. I love the idea but you have to admit, E-mailing is a whole lot cheaper and far more reliable. It is a good idea though. ;)

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  13. One thing I like about letter writing is it come across in a more unqiue way. You can use different color pencils and you have something physical to hold and cherish. That is why I think letter writing will never totally disappear. It is more common now to email because everyone has a computer or access to a computer these days.

    -Zane of ontario honey

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I need to know that this revolution is growing and impacting the masses. Your comments motivate me! Please take the time to let me know how TLWR is working for you.